For two weekends the Playoffs for the World Finals have kept the HoN scene in NA and EU in suspense and after last Sunday’s Grand Finals, we have a winner! But it would not be fair to forget all the other teams who played and fought hard in the tournament as well, so let’s take a look at the whole tournament before we show the path that the winners will be taking in just a few weeks.

Weekend 1 - Saturday
Four matches were set to be played right away in the first round on Saturday. [FrL]Freelancers and [DRz]Team Druidz were the first in line to play, and here we got a solid 2:0 victory by the Freelancers, dropping the Druidz to the Losers Bracket as most expected it to happen. Next were [trap]Gucci and [Rea]Reason Gaming, and here we had a much closer match, which ended 2:1 in favour of Gucci. [ECx]Evil Corporation and [SwBR]Swedish Brs also had a very close match and it too ended 2:1, with Evil Corporation taking the win. Finally, [BE3R]Team Beer and [Team]Team (previously named RoadToThailand in the news) went at it and it was Team Beer who walked ahead after a 2:0 victory.
But we weren’t done on that Saturday after the first round, the teams that were dropped to the Losers Bracket had to play their round right after. Team Druidz and Reason Gaming played for survival and gave us a pretty intense match, which ended 2:1 in favour of Reason Gaming. Swedish Brs and Team Team, who played at the same time, had a bit less of a tough encounter and it ended with Swedish Brs moving on to the next round, leaving the Team Team team in the dust after a 2:0 victory.

Weekend 1 - Sunday
Sunday offered two more rounds of HoN goodness, with the Winners Bracket matches first. Freelancers and Gucci locked horns that evening and it was the Freelancers who came out ahead, winning 2:0. And at the same time, Evil Corporation defeated Team Beer, also with 2:0. Both results were no surprise, as Freelancers and Evil Corporation were the top favourites to go to the finals in the Playoffs. The Losers Bracket then saw it’s round of action, the dropdowns from today had to play against the survivors of yesterday. Reason Gaming welcomed Team Beer and were defeated 2:0, while Swedish Brs met with Gucci and it was the survivors that triumphed in this match: Swedish Brs kicked Gucci with 2:0 out of the tournament.

Weekend 2- Saturday
Moving on to the second weekend, it was all about survival and triumph now. On Saturday, two matches were set to be played: the Winners Bracket Finals between the two favourites and the next Losers Bracket Round.
Freelancers versus Evil Corporation was the matchup for the Winners Bracket Finals, and here we saw Freelancers winning the match 2:0. Both games took a similar course: At first it was Evil Corporation who managed to get a small advantage, but Freelancers stood their ground and took over the game, eventually defeating ECx soundly. It looked a little grim for the players of Evil Corporation at times, so it was probably a good thing they did not have to play again until the next day in the Losers Bracket Finals. For Freelancers, it was a happy day and they were able to retire early and get ready for the Grand Finals the next day.
The LB match was fought between Swedish Brs and Team Beer and here we got another relative short match, that allowed Team Beer to advance to the LB Finals. The first game was pretty one sided and it only took Team Beer 20 minutes to win it. The second game was dominated by Team Beer in a similar fashion, despite first kills by Swedish Brs, the Beers got a huge gold and experience lead early on, which only got bigger as the game progressed until it was just too much for the Swedes to handle.

Weekend 2 - Sunday
The evening of the Finals saw the Losers Bracket Finals played first. Evil Corporation and Team Beer were the contenders and only one would go ahead for their shot at the Thailand spot, while the other would grumpily watch the winner on Honcast. Last night saw Team Beer on a rampage when they defeated Swedish Brs and the Losers Bracket Finals did not look any different. The Beers seemed to be on a roll and the first game was won in just 20 minutes, with ECx appearing to be pretty helpless against the sheer power of Team Beer. The second game was just like that, ECx barely managed to keep up in the early game and then got overwhelmed quickly. Team Beer stormed into the Grand Finals with ease, ready to play against Freelancers again, this time with much more at stake.
The Grand Finals were just what we hoped for, a three game match that was tough and close at first, but eventually presented us a clear winner. The tough part was mostly in the first game. Freelancers and Team Beer both played well and the game was pretty balanced until Freelancers got a slight advantage after minute 35. A teamfight at the Freelancer base resulted in a near complete wipe of Team Beer and allowed the freelancing americans to win the game right there. The second game saw the comeback of Team Beer, who found back to their previous form and played a dominating game from the first minute on, leaving the Freelancers no chance to even get in the game properly. The last match of the match and the Playoffs as well was just like the previous one, Team Beer got ahead quickly, left nothing to chance and defeated the Freelancers soundly, winning the match and the tournament despite dropping to the Losers Bracket relatively early. Congrats to Team Beer and good luck in Thailand!

What's next?
Speaking of Thailand big things are happening there already. Most teams have been selected for the World Finals by now, with only Thailand still having to pick their teams. For that, a huge Tournament was created and the boys and girls are still doing battle to decide who gets to play in the Grand Finals. It is already an amazing event and shows, just how popular Heroes of Newerth in Thailand is.

And as things progress and the big date is getting closer, more details are revealed, like the location of the World Finals, which will be at the BITEC center, the same location as last year. There, the four teams from around the world will fight for honor, fame and money (and possibly those cute Cthulhuphant plushies) on April the 1st and 2nd. If you happen to be around, why not come by? There is no entrance fee, so if you can get a seat, it should be an amazing thing to witness. And if you do not happen to be close by, do not worry: Honcast got you covered, with excellent coverage as usual. But more about that in a few weeks, final details about the teams and schedule will follow here soon.

And with that, once more congrats to Team Beer, enjoy your trip to Thailand, good luck in the Tournament and if you happen to get one extra elephantastic plushies, please send it to this humble newswriter, who loves elephants so much! Cheers!

After many years writing about esports in HoN and especially Hontour, BlahC is still not having any kind of life outside of this, so he writes about the esports lives of other people in 2024 as well. Shoutout to Inklin, Ace, Breaky, Beef, Jeremy, *that* Canadian, QsQ 357 - wherever you may be right now, and all the awesome teams from Hontour Season 2 Gold Division!

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